Skip to main content

Remembering what the Holocaust is

Perhaps under the radar in the media generally, there has been considerable debate in the last days relating to the memorialising of the Holocaust.   Starting with the Statement from the White House said to be commemorating Holocaust Day on 27 January, the Right has been having a field day distancing Jews from the Holocaust.    In this new "age" of pushing "facts" and "alternate facts" out there - looking at you Donald Trump and the awful team around you - the world needs to be on guard that the revisionists of history out there and those simply peddling lies doesn't take hold.    It is to be borne in mind that many people see Google as the source of all manner of information...and that is a worry when one reflects on the sort of web sites out there.

"We need to de-judaify the Holocaust apparently. That’s the latest from ‘alt-right’ poster boy Richard Spencer. Spencer, who by all accounts is the personification of a bacterial infection, feels that commemorating the Holocaust makes it really difficult for him to be a bigot.

In a post published in the Daily Stormer (named after Nazi publication Der Sturmer), Spencer griped about how Trump’s Holocaust Memorial Day statement was great because it prevented Jews from going on and on about their “meta-narrative of suffering” as a way of firming up their “peculiar position in American society”.

As a Jew, when I read that Holocaust Memorial Day statement I felt worried. An alternative fact inspired speech stamped with the official government seal denied the Jewish experience in 150 words. And let’s be clear, this isn’t just about the Jews.

Even if for a moment, we were to entertain the idea that the White House and Spencer’s issue with Holocaust remembrance is that it’s too “Jew focussed”, you would surely release a statement that names say, one of the other groups affected. Or any of the groups affected. Or perhaps, (ground breaking, I know), all of the groups that were affected. But that’s not what’s happening here.

The notion that Jewish connection to the Holocaust is an exaggerated idea made up by the ‘ruling elites’ (read: Yids) in order to reassert their power is an old anti-Semitic trope but it takes on fresh life with this new ‘world order’.

White supremacists have started to couch their ideas in pseudo academic assertions to make their stupid, dangerous points seem legitimate. What hipster Hitler is actually saying here is Jews have too much power and the Holocaust wasn’t a big deal.

It pains me that I feel it necessary to include this sentence: there was a fundamental, pinnacle part of Shoah that was about targeting, ostracising, ghettoising and gassing Jews, because they were Jews. That is undeniable. You don’t need to talk to survivors about that part; the Nazis were pretty open about that themselves, made a lot of speeches about it, even took some photos. And yet, I feel it’s important have it written here, because for the first time in my lifetime it seems that this objective historical fact is up for debate in what is becoming a more mainstream political discourse.

Denying Jewish connection to the Holocaust; bans on Muslim refugees and immigrants; it all comes from the same vile white supremacist thinking. This kind of rhetoric has real life, pernicious consequences for those it targets; it must be called out and ridiculed at every opportunity."


Popular posts from this blog

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…